Saveeta Sharma, Artistic Director
Saveeta began her studies at age 4 in modern dance from the Trinidad Dance Theatre and Bharata Natyam at the Trinidad School of Indian Dance. While still in Trinidad, her training in Kathak commenced under Shri Pratap Pawar and Shri Pradeep Shankar. She also started her training at that time in Odissi under Shrimati Priya Pawar.
Thereafter, having won a scholarship from the Trinidad and Tobago government and an additional scholarship from the government of India (ICCR), Saveeta studied Kathak under the world renowned - and premiere guru of Kathak - Shri Birju Maharaj in Lucknow Gharana at the Kathak Kendra Institute for Kathak of New Delhi. Saveeta then studied Jaipur Gharana under Shri Durga Lal, also in New Delhi. During the same time, she also studied Odissi under Shrimati Aloka Pannikar and Guru Mayadhar Raut at the Shri Ram Bharatiya Kala Kendra College of Music and Dance in New Delhi. In addition, she studied Mayurbanj Chhau for three years under Guru Alok Nath Visoy and Guru Sai Babu at the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra. Saveeta also studied Uday Shankar Oriental Dance under Shrimati Tanushree Shankar. Saveeta finally completed her studies in India with one year's study at the Natya Institute of Choreography under Maya Rao, and three years as singer and musician in Hindustani classical music under Irene Roy Chaudhari at New Delhi's Kathak Kendra which included three years of tabla under Guru Ambika Prashad Misra. To finish off, she received a Baccalaureate Cum Laude in 1987 in Dance from the University of New Delhi and continued on at the University of New Delhi to a Master’s Degree in Dance in 1989. In Canada, Saveeta continued her studies in ballet under Merle Adams, modern dance under Sylvie Desrosiers, aerial dance under Brandy Leary. Saveeta was also mentored by Rina Singha in 20th CENTURY PROGESSIONS IN KATHAK.
After her arrival in Ottawa in 1990, Saveeta founded Upasana the Spirit of Dance and in 1995 incorporated it as a not-for-profit company. By 2006, the Upasana School of Dance expanded to Toronto at the National Ballet School. In 2008, Saveeta founded the Saveeta Sharma Dance Company to present original works in both traditional and contemporary dance.
In 2000, Saveeta created the annual dance festival, DANs/cE KAPITAL - Revolution in Movement, showcasing Canadian and international dance works, and, by 2005, an annual dance series.
In 2000, Saveeta received the Corel Award for her contribution in excellence of dance and new choreography for RITUAL AND FIRE; and was nominated in 2006 for the K. M. Hunter Artists Award. Her work is funded by the City of Ottawa, Ontario Arts Council, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts and Canadian Heritage.